Location: Scandinavia (story may be set in more than one of the countries, so I can’t really specify more than this.)
Basic rundown, in this story, my main character is kidnapped and kept prisoner for a month. The villains want to punish him for something that wasn't even really his fault. For the first couple weeks, they pretty much just use various psychological torture methods on him, and he is mostly uninjured for these weeks.
However, after the first couple weeks, they realize that the worst thing they can do him is to give him some kind of disabling injury, so that he would be forced to rely on other people. With that in mind, they begin more physical torture.
I know most of the injuries he would have suffered, but I need some information about the treatment he would need for the injuries, and how long he might be kept in the hospital. In the research I've done, I've found a lot about the individual injuries, but I'm having trouble putting it all together for the multiple injuries, and I wasn't sure how to search for that. I am going to put the rest of this behind a cut, because of the length, and possibly the subject matter.
Here are the things I know were done to him:
His right hand (dominant hand) was seriously injured, all of the fingers on that hand are broken, as well as several bones in the hands. Some of the breaks are comminuted fractures. The breaks were made over the course of at least a few days, rather than all at once, as the torturers wanted to draw it out. They started with just breaking a couple of fingers, but by the end of the few days involved in making this injury, pretty much the whole hand had been damaged. This injury was done with the intention of disabling him, and I need to it serious enough that he never regains full use of the hand, although some degree of use is okay.
I’m assuming he will need surgery to correct this, but I’m not entirely sure how it would be fixed. So far, the research I have done hasn’t dealt with such an accumulation of injuries. Although, I’m guessing some of the permanent disability may be caused by either malunion or nerve damage.
Searched for: Hand injuries, hand injury treatment, hand fracture, severe hand fracture, comminuted hand fracture, dominant hand fracture, dominant hand loss; I also read all of the Wikipedia articles I could find dealing with hand injuries.
Some kind of message related to what the torturers were punishing him for has been carved into his skin, on his back. And at least some of the wounds from this might be beginning to get infected. This wasn’t done with the intention of being a disabling injury, it just happened because one of the villains wanted to do it. Also, I’m not sure if the wound is definitely going to be infected or not. I just know that the character has a fever when he is rescued.
Searched for: Infected wounds symptoms; infected wounds treatment
Finally, there was one more injury that was done with the intention of being disabling. I’m still coming with this one, because I don’t want to overdo it. I know the injury is to his left leg. Specifically it is to the lower part of the leg, and possibly involves the knee as well. The lower leg and the knee were both hit several times by some kind of weapon (haven’t decided exactly what was used yet, as I have yet to write this scene.) The bone has been shattered in at least one of the spots that were hit. There might also be some less serious fractures in spots that weren’t hit as many times as the bad one. I’m guessing, based on research, that any bones that were shattered would need surgery. Also, this is the most recent injury, having been made at the most, the day before he was rescued.
Leg injury-Searched for: leg fracture (I wasn’t sure what else to look up for this injury)
Okay, now are the specific questions I have, that I wasn’t sure what to search for to find the answer. Mainly these are questions that involve the multiples injuries and how they might affect each other.
1. If any of the character’s open wounds (the ones on his back) are infected, would the needed surgery for the broken bones be delayed until the infection was gone? If surgery was delayed, how would the broken bones be kept immobilized in the meantime? Also, since the infected wounds are on his back, would that mean that he would be unable to lie on his back without risking the infection getting worse? And if that is the case, does that affect how the other two injuries (to the hand and leg) would be kept immobilized?
2. If he doesn’t recover the full use of his dominant hand, how much would he be able to learn to do with the other hand? And for that matter, how would he be able to anything while the hand was healing? Would he start using the other hand during this time, for some things?
3. In some of the reading I have done about leg fractures, I have read that early mobility is important. However, I don’t think that is an option for this character, due to the hand injury, since only being able to use one hand would keep him from being able to use crutches. Also, with this injury, based on how I described the injury, what are the chances of him regaining the use of the leg? Would there be any permanent aftereffects of the injury, especially since it was done with the intention of being disabling?
4. When broken bones are fixed surgically is there any kind of other immobilizing device used as well? Based on what I’ve found in my research, it seems that for the leg only the internal fixation devices would be used. However, it seems like the hand would need some kind of additional immoblization, to keep it from being moved too much, or to keep him from trying to use it.
5. What kind of recovery time is this character looking at? How long would he likely be kept in the hospital, and where would he be sent after being discharged? I would assume he would not be sent home, as he would probably have trouble caring for himself? Also, if he actually lives in a different country than the one he was in when the injury occurred, at which point might he be returned to the country he lives in? (This is the reason I said my setting might be in more than one country.)
I think that’s everything, but if anyone thinks of something important I might be forgetting to think of, I would also appreciate any information of that type. Thank you.